Saturday, December 01, 2007

Do you Advent?

It's December. Already, it's December! Wasn't it just July?

I got Kate an advent calendar this year, and we will open the first door tonight. I'm doing the chocolate version, in case you are interested.

What I am wondering is this: do you do advent calendars? If so, what traditions are you starting with your kids? I think I had a few advent calendars growing up, but I don't recall any sort of meaning behind them. Please share your ideas!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
We usually make a paper chain of 25 rings. We put a different family members name on each ring. Each day we tear off a name, talk about that person and what we love about them. Then we spend some time praying for them.
If you get really fancy you can copy thumbprint pictures of the people and put them on the slip with the picture.

Anonymous said...

OK, 2 cents
Advent is a season on the old church calendar, a time to "look forward with anticipation" to the promised arrival of the Messiah. So in the Middle Ages Christians used the season right before the twelve days of Christmas to remember how Israel was waiting for the Messiah (past) and how we are waiting for Jesuis to come back (future). THe advent calendar was a nifty idea to help kids sense the anticipation. So every day when they opened the window they got something better than the day before. Sheila's idea is cool, but I still like chocolate!

Merry Christmas!
-Uncle Tom

Anonymous said...

We had an advent wreath, with candles, in the center of the table. Regular wreath, 4 candles, one in the middle. Burn one more each Sunday up to Christmas. Seems quite the fire hazard as the wreath dries and the candles burn down... Not quite as bad as the candles on Grandma's tree, but still... Stick with the chocolate, diabetes and tooth decay won't destoy this year's Christmas.

(Actually, I've found a beautiful red glass advent wreath, doesn't smell nice, but I really loved lighting one more candle every Sunday up to Christmas).

Carrie said...

We do the chocolate calendars with the kids, we also have a beautiful advent candle holder for the middle of the table and we'd light the candles at dinner time and I have a wonderful flip calendar I bought from a church years ago that is for families that has suggestions for every day to focus on the season. We also have a felt nativity scene with numbered pockets below it that we bought and each pocket has a character for the nativity scene that velcros wherever you want it and you add one every day counting down to baby Jesus on Christmas. However, the candles and flip calendar and the nativity scene have all yet to come out of boxes since they'd have to be put back again to move. I just got an e-mail from a friend who suggested the following website for daily ideas of things to do with kids to celebrate Advent:
And, I can also recommend looking up information on making a Jesse tree and adding ornaments to it during advent. We always had the advent log, growing up, that was a log cut in half with holes drilled for candles and put evergreen boughs on it and a red bow. My newer advent candle holder is much less flamable! That's enough for now!

Carrie said...

The website address got cut off. It was:
Love, Carrie

Katie said...

We don't really have any traditions like that yet, but it sounds like a good thing to start! John's stepmom was telling me about Advent Cabinets...or something like that--something wooden with little doors to open that you put toys/candy/small things in. I thought that sounded really cute. But I have never seen one of these "cabinets!"

Joanna said...

We did the chocolate calendars when Julia was toddler age. But we'd sometimes get a few days ahead in eating. Or I seem to remember her definitely wanting to open a different door than the day we were on. I've ordered a Lego advent thing for this year (a little late), and as a child and now with mine we've also had a wooden board shaped like a tree with nails to hang little ornaments - one a day. It was a big deal as a kid getting to be the one to hang the ornament that day. (I liked your Uncle Tom's history lesson!)